Smart move, coach Vogel.
With the first seed wrapped up, the Indiana Pacers don’t have much to play for in their final regular season contest in Orlando on Wednesday night. But with the team seemingly not in particularly good form heading into the playoffs, would it have been better to rest the starters again, as they did in Milwaukee last week, or play them in the hope that they will regain some of that early season chemistry?
In the end, Frank Vogel decided on something in the middle. He will play struggling starters Roy Hibbert and George Hill and rest Paul George, David West and Lance Stephenson.
Great idea. I’m sure Vogel considered giving Hibbert and Hill more rest as well, but considering that both have played like massive sacks of manure, it’s more important that they establish some rhythm on the court, develop some confidence and prove to the team that they can be relied on in the playoffs.
You want to know how disgusting things have been for Hibbert and Hill?
In April’s five games, Hibbert averaged 5.6 points and 2.4 rebounds on 25% shooting from the field, including two scoreless games and one reboundless game. The numbers over his last 10 games are slightly better at 8.7, 3.3 and 31.5%, but still nothing resembling an NBA player, let alone All-Star.
Hill has arguably been worse. While Hibbert has been trying too hard and missing, Hill seems like he hasn’t been trying at all. He has always been criticized for being too passive, but the last few games have just been ridiculous. Hill has averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 assists in his last five games, but he failed to take a single shot in that big game against Miami and scored just 3 points on 3 shots in the most recent win against OKC.
Get your acts together fellas. It’s likely Vogel won’t give them extended minutes tomorrow night but they need to put in the work when they’re on the floor. Otherwise just give the ball to Cope and get the hell out of the way.